Kirkenes, Norway. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Warmest January in Norway’s northeast

East Finnmark region was 4 to 5 degrees warmer than normal in January.
February 03, 2023


The Norwegian Meteorological Institute has a set of classifications when presenting climate statistics. For January, Northern Norway is marked “Warm” or “Very Warm” and even some places “Extremely warm”. The terms are in comprising of “Normal” which is the average seen over the years since measurements started.

Kirkenes, near the Russian border, is marked “Extremely Warm.”

The town saw average temperatures of 4-5 °C warmer than normal for the first month of the year. That is the warmest measured in 60 years, the Meteorological Institute informs. Kirkenes is at 69 °North, more than 300 km inside the Arctic Circle. Average temperature from January 1-31 was -7,7 °C measured at Kirkenes airport. 

For Norway as such, the average temperature was 1,2 °C warmer than the normal average for the period 1991-2020. 

Warm January, though, February starts normally for this time of the year with Kirkenes at -25 °C Friday morning.

Very little sea-ice 

Further north, at Svalbard, the extent of sea-ice is currently at its 3rd lowest since observations started.

“There is very little sea-ice now compared to the reference period 1991-2020. It is the 3rd lowest extent observed for January with satellite measurements. Our measurements of sea ice go back to October 1978,” says Signe Aaboe with the Meteorological Institute.




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